Are you an apple or a pear?
I took a look at my eating habits and lack of exercise and found LOTS of room where I can improve. I also came across this article that explains the difference in body shapes. An apple, vs. a pear (gaining weight in your midsection vs. gaining weight in your thighs and buns):
"We crunch. We Ab Blast. We eschew carbs. Heck, we'll even go under the knife to get rid of ab flab.Knowing that the odds are stacked against me, I am taking some steps to get my body in less of an apple shape, and more of an hourglass shape :)
Unfortunately, recent research shows that you can crunch until you crumble and diet till you're drained of energy, but if your days are full of stress, the perfect six-pack--or even a flatter midsection--will continue to elude you.
That's because fat in the abdominal area functions differently than fat elsewhere in the body. It has a greater blood supply as well as more receptors for cortisol, a stress hormone. Cortisol levels rise and fall throughout the day, but when you're under constant stress, the amount of the hormone you produce remains elevated. With high stress and, consequently, high cortisol levels, more fat is deposited in the abdominal area since there are more cortisol receptors there.
But ab flab is not the only price you'll pay for chronic stress (the kind created by a marriage that's unraveling, a job you hate, problems with your health--rather than, say, tension caused by a traffic snarl). Chronically high cortisol levels also kill neurons in the brain and interfere with feel-good neurotransmitters--such as dopamine and serotonin--which can lead to depression and feeling more stressed.
More stress = more fat
In short, the whole issue of abdominal fat goes far beyond how you look in a bikini: The fat at your waist--what researchers call central obesity--is associated with higher rates of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and several types of cancer. And while it's true that heredity plays a role in overall body type (that is, whether you are more of an "apple" than a "pear"), says Brenda Davy, Ph.D., R.D., an assistant professor at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, "genetics accounts for only 25-55 percent of the tendency to develop the most serious diseases associated with abdominal fat--the remainder is lifestyle."'
Monthly Challenge Update
I took a break from the monthly challenges in January, mainly because life has been so busy I needed the time to really figure out what was next. Starting February first, I will do another monthly challenge, this time for being more healthy.
Why am I telling you this now? Because in order to have success, a trendy diet isn't going to work. Being healthy is a LIFESTYLE change. And that's what this is all about. Changing our lives and health for the better. Take some time and think about how you can be more healthy and what you are realistically willing to do. If you want to start exercising, than what program will work best for you? Is it a gym membership? Is it a treadmill in your home? Will you start jogging? What kind of changes can you make to your diet?
Some stuff to think about. Oh by the way, there will be a giveaway as well :)